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Saturday, March 29, 2008

Somali Pirates: First hand report of capture of Svitzer Korsakov

Reported in the Irish Independent as My private hell on the high sea:
THE moment marine engineer Fred Parle discovered his ship was under attack from pirates he feared he was "dead meat".

In a scene which could have been straight out of 'Pirates of the Caribbean', heavily armed pirates used steel ladders and lines with hooks to board the 115-foot Svitzer Korsakov off the Somalian coast.

But this was no Hollywood fiction. As the 67-year-old lay face down on the deck with his hands over his head, he did not think he was going to survive.

"I lay there thinking we were all dead meat. I said a few prayers and left it to the man above," he said.
The crew were ordered to take the ship down the African coast until they reached what the pirates deemed to be a safe spot in waters too shallow for a US warship which was keeping a watchful eye on proceedings.

Thus began a 47-day ordeal which ended finally on St Patrick's Day when an undisclosed ransom was paid over.
Interesting note about the pirate attempt to avoid the U.S.warships by driving to shallower water... Be nice to have some shallower draft vessels on hand to give them further concern.

UPDATE: LA Times covers the pirates.

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